Ten ideas for beautiful books

1 : Quarter binding. A real cloth spine alongside a PPC front and back can give a book a real exclusive feel in a suprisingly cost effective way. You don’t need to buy a lot of cloth, or fit dustjackets, so quarter binding is less costly than you might think
2 : Metallic pantone endpapers. Our view is that endpapers should be treated as part of the “cover” of a hardback book, and can really add to the impact of your title. Four process or single pantone printed endpapers are fairly common and look lovely, but an nice touch is to use a metallic pantone on a standard 150gsm or 170gsm white uncoated paper. This gives the appearance of an unusual and expensive material without the prohibitive cost of this kind of option from Fedrigoni or GF Smith.
3 : Fluorescent pantone covers. UV fluorescent inks can achieve dramatic results. No-one is going to overlook this book on a shelf!
4 : Foil and Wibalin colour choices. Even if your book has a dustjacket there is no need to stick to black Wibalin Buckram and gold/silver foil blocking. Kurz foils come in a stunning range of colours and the same goes for Wibalin Buckram, Finelinen, Natural and now Stria (see below). Be creative with your foil and Wibalin colour choices and you’ll make your book stand out without spending a penny more.
5 : Winter and Co have just launched a new finish in the Wibalin range called Stria. The bark-like material is beautiful and the price point is the same as Wibalin Buckram. Now is the time to give this material a try, before everyone starts doing it!
6 : Uncoated foiled PPCs. Our UV press is ideal for printing bright colours onto Wibalin Natural White, or even Finelinen, Buckram and Stria. Adding a bit of foil can then really make the book stand out. One tip though… it is essential to spec a high strength paper like Wibalin for unlaminated PPCs since they are more prone to damage than laminated PPCs. Standard white offset is fine for text, but won’t cut it for an unlaminated PPC.
7 : Uncoated text papers. UV printing technology means that our specially formulated inks dry instantly under UV light. This gives efficiency gains, eliminates the risk of marking/set-off, and means sheets can be folded straight off the press. Another huge benefit is that instead of absorbing into uncoated papers (flattening the result), UV inks appear brighter and more vibrant on uncoated papers, with less show through. We’ve found that even 80gsm Bookwoves can hold colour amazingly well, and clients seem to love combining the feel and bulk of uncoated sheets with the brightness of UV.
8 : Blind emboss to front of cases. Generally foil blocking to spine only is the default for jacketed books, but a blind emboss to the front can add a touch of class without significant cost increase.
9 : 500 micron greyboard covers for limp bound books. The irony of trying to achieve a “lo-fi” or a recycled look on a book is that so many of the attractive and unusual recycled cover board options are so prohibitively expensive. One solution to this problem is 500 micron greyboard. This the same material that we use for our book cases but in a light enough weight for limp binding. Because greyboard is so widely used in packaging it is cheap, genuinely recycled and looks it! OK you won’t be able to print high quality colour images, but it might acheive the look and feel you need for your project at a sensible cost.
10 : 2mm greyboard. 3mm greyboard is the industry standard and gives great results, but 2mm greyboard has more flex and give which can be very attractive, in particular for smaller hardback books. There is also 33% less greyboard needed per book so that is a simple cost saving too!